John Y. Merrill of Leeds (1823-1898) made terse entries in diaries he kept for 11 years. His few words still provide a glimpse into the life of a mid 18th century farmer, who also made shoes, quarried stone, moved barns, made healing salves -- and was active in civic affairs.
As early as 1633, entrepreneurs along the Piscataqua River in southern Maine utilized the force of the river to power a sawmill, recognizing the potential of the area's natural power sources, but it was not until the 1890s that technology made widespread electricity a reality -- and even then, consumers had to be urged to use it.
Since the establishment of the area's first licensed hotel in 1681, Portland has had a dramatic, grand and boisterous hotel tradition. The Portland hotel industry has in many ways reflected the growth and development of the city itself. As Portland grew with greater numbers of people moving through the city or calling it home, the hotel business expanded to fit the increasing demand.
… to work in the huge textile mills, many became entrepreneurs in their own right and opened small businesses up and down Main Street.